Nabokov On the Move

I was reading an interesting article in the travel section of the NY Times yesterday about Nabokov’s journeys with his wife Vera across some of the more desolate parts of America, which form the basis for the extended sequence in “Lolita” in which Humbert and Lo desolately crisscross the desolate country. It occurred to me that the four pillars of the Nabokovian sensibility are: chess, tennis, butterflies, and language. I can, as they say, relate. These four items seem to me to form a natural family, but I would be hard pressed to say what they have in common. Perhaps they all exemplify what VN calls “unearthly splendor”.

1 reply
  1. Marianne
    Marianne says:

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the article; my father emailed me to say that someone “stole” my idea – many years ago, I went to several sites referenced in Nabokov’s novel and was working on a multimedia project and articles about it. I published one article, but never finished the project. Still have plenty of wonderful material! There was a Web project that came out a couple of years ago that really did feel like it had been “stolen” … I know it wasn’t, but these feel like cruel reminders of unfinished work. Alas, the memories of my travels are enough for me, I suppose…


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